Rays starter Tyler Glasnow left a live batting practice session early this afternoon after experiencing some oblique discomfort, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He’s scheduled for an MRI tomorrow morning to determine the seriousness of the issue.
Until those results come back, it’ll remain unclear whether Glasnow is now in jeopardy of missing the start of the season. The 6’8″ righty is hoping for a return to form after the bulk of the past year and a half have been wiped out by an elbow injury that necessitated Tommy John surgery. Glasnow missed the second half of 2021 and almost all of last season rehabbing from that procedure. He returned for two abbreviated starts at the tail end of the regular season and tossed five scoreless innings in his lone postseason appearance.
Before Glasnow had even gotten back on an MLB mound, the Rays made a surprising commitment to him for the 2024 campaign. He and the club agreed to a $25MM deal for that season, extending the team’s window of control by an additional season. When healthy, the hard-throwing Glasnow looks more than capable of living up to that lofty salary, but injuries have prevented him from reaching 100 innings in any of his three full seasons with the club.
Since the start of the 2019 campaign, Glasnow owns a 2.75 ERA across 212 2/3 innings. He’s struck out a massive 36% of opponents against a solid 7.8% walk rate while holding hitters to a laughable .185/.248/.329 slash line. Glasnow has only made 39 regular season appearances over that four-year stretch. That’s in part due to the truncated 2020 schedule, but he twice had extended IL stints due to forearm/elbow maladies.
If he’s ready for the start of the season, Glasnow will join Shane McClanahan as a high-powered pairing at the top of the Tampa Bay rotation. They’ll be followed by free agent signee Zach Eflin, Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen. Should Glasnow (or anyone else in the group) not be available for Opening Day, Luis Patiño, Yonny Chirinos and Josh Fleming could all battle for a rotation spot. Top prospect Taj Bradley is also on the 40-man roster and figures to make his MLB debut at some point this year. He dominated over 16 Double-A starts last season and closed out the year with a 3.66 ERA and 21.5% strikeout rate over 12 appearances for Triple-A Durham.